(Closed) Stages of waiting: how have your convos about marriage evolved over time?

posted 8 years ago in Waiting
Post # 3
2714 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Well this might be a long story because I have been “waiting” for a long time. Although, it isn’t really waiting as much preparing ourselves for our future.

My SO and I have been together for 5 years. After 1 year of dating we moved in together and lived together happily for 2 years. After that 3rd year of dating I was accepted into a master’s program 3 hours away from where were living. He stayed, I left and we had a long distance relationship while I completed my 1 year program. As soon as I left in Sept I seriously examined our relationship. After 3 years I began to realize that I truly cared for this person and could see myself spending the rest of my life with him. I was too scared to bring it up to him… Plus we were living 3 hours away from each other and it just didn’t seem right to bring up marriage to him at that time in our lives.

Right before the program ended (a few months before our 4 year anniversary) we went out to dinner and talked about our future – ie what to do when my program ended – and he (very nervously) brought up the subject of marriage. He wanted to make sure that I felt the same way he did. We had a wonderful conversation about our future and about marriage.

After my program ended I moved back in with my SO. 6 months later there had been no other talks about marriage. I started to get antsy. I wondered why we had that original conversation, and had he changed his mind? I finally plucked up the courage to talk to him. He said he was still interested, but hadn’t been thinking about it lately. I was hurt. I thought about it EVERY DAY. We had been dating for 4 1/2 years.. we were both out of school and working. Money was not an issue. What was the hold up?!

Then I turned ugly. Sometimes I nagged, sometimes I cried. I hated myself for the way I was acting, but I started to hate him for making me feel this way. We finally had another serious talk about our future. What we had never talked about was our timeline. He knew he wanted to get married one day in the future and I knew I wanted to get married NOW. We both agreed that we would like to be engaged within the year. That was in January. We just celebrated our 5 year anniversary last month. We have gone ring shopping, he bought a ring and I am sitting on pins and needles waiting for it!

And so, my “waiting” period had its moments of ups and downs. I still get butterflies when I think about our very first conversation about marriage or when we went ring shopping. I get myself a little upset when I think about the fights we had about marriage between then and now. But that’s life and I can only hope that the rest of our relationship will be filled with so many butterflies and yes, even fights.. since I know we can get through them and they were key to keeping the communication open in our relationship.

Wow that was long. And now the interwebs knows my life story all I can say is that everyone has a different experience, but even through the fights and the low points I would not have a changed a thing in mine!!

Post # 4
935 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

Ah! It was ackward at first but got eaiser. He said from the get-go that he wanted to get married. I wasn’t really that sure it was a life-goal of mine.  Fast forward 6 month or so…I was so sure he was “the one” and for the first time in my life really wanted to get married.

I mean, I was a bit OBSESSED! But I kept a lot of it inside and didn’t talk to him about it DIRECTLY untill maybe 2-3 months ago. It was interesting for me psychologically because I had a lot of feelings of disapproving of this desire at first. My parents are divorced, I’m very independent, etc. So at first it took a while for me to accept that I really wanted to get married to him.  I was afraid of it.  And he always said he wouldn’t stay with someone past 6 months if it wasn’t a possibility.

He was bringing up marriage-related stuff “hypothetically” starting around 5-6 months. Which became frustrating.  Because I had realized I’d marry him FOR REAL! We’d talk about what we’d spend on wedding/honeymoon, other random questions. One particularly promising conversation was about proposals, and how as a guy it would be so nerve-wracking to have to get it perfect, etc. And I said, what about the girl? She just has to sit around and wait for a proposal! And he said he doesn’t believe in that. Guys need a gentle kick sometimes and it’s OK for the woman to say “hey I want to get married”. COOL! I stored this little tidbit away in my brain for later.

Thinking it was great he’d be the guy who’d have a reasonable conversation about it, and didn’t just expect the girl to wait. Little did I know, we still had the typical-guy-freakout stuff ahead of us….

I finally turned it around at about 7-8 months when we were talking about yet another marriage-related thing he brought up. I was sick of this being hypothetical.  And something was a little uncomfortable during our talk and I said “you’re the one who keeps bringing up marriage!” and he said “well it’s good in theory but when I think of ME getting married that’s another story. I’m not ready to get married”. So I said “how much time do you need?” LOL!!! It was the first time I’d turned the question directly to him and it hadn’t just been “talk”

Of course he mis-interpreted that as thinking I was upset he hadn’t proposed yet!  So we had another convo a few nights later. At one point I just basically said you started it (jokingly/tactfully), you’re the one who always said he wants to get married and now I am having these thoughts (so you can go ahead and freak out if you like).  I said it was uncomfortable for me, knowing that BEING WITH HIM was what made me feel for the first time that I could be happily married. And yet, when he thinks about it, he can’t actually apply it to his life. That was a little rough and he tried to re-assure me. Then I tried to forget about it and not push. I thought, well it hasn’t been close to a year yet and he’s going to think it’s way to soon, I’ll wait till it’s closer to a year.

Well, after 10-11 months I finally just said it.  Just like he’d said on vacation months ago, I said straight out “I want to be married to you”. And it was definitely a load off.  And that started a more productive talk. Or so I thought.  He talked about his roommate moving out soon. Where I’d want to live, etc. He still said there was a lot of logistical stuff he’d have to work out. He thought we had a future together. I asked what he was thinking for timeline and he said “I don’t know, could be 6 months, could be 2 years”  and “who brings this up at 10 or 11 months? Who gets engaged after only being together a year” (one of his friends just did, actually, which I pointed out).  “I’m not ready, I don’t know if it’s me, or us, or you, or fear of commitment”. But he wouldn’t get any more specific about his concerns.  Needless to say, this didn’t work for me. And feeling like he was freaking out and getting defensive wasn’t working for me either. (Now I know it’s quite common for guys to have this initial shock when marriage is a real possibility rather than a distant goal.)

So I almost left him, this was about a month ago. It had been 11 months of being together.  I said I’m sorry, maybe I waited to long to bring this up and I might be resentful now. I’ve wanted to be with you, and felt very strongly that you were the one. And we’ve talked about this before so you’ve had a chance to get this ‘freaking out’ stuff out of your system.  I’m having doubts now.  If you don’t feel ready, and don’t feel the same way about me I can’t be in an unequal relationship indefinitely.  It’s fine if you’re not sure about MARRIAGE but I deserve someone who’s sure about ME.  I am not going to throw out a great relationship with the love of my life, but this will not be a “great relationship” for much longer. It will deteriorate and I will be even more unhappy.  You are the guy who wants to get married and if you don’t want to get married to me that’s going to take a toll on my self-respect. So I think it’s best if we weren’t together any more. Call it off now while we still have our dignity intact.

He said please don’t leave, he’ll figure it out please give him 2-4 months. He knew I was serious about leaving and it wasn’t just a tactic.  I had my doubts but he’s never let me down before. I said 3 months would be better but I’m willing to try to give him 2-4.  Then I joked that he’s a procrastinator so why not say 1 month and we both know he’ll do it in 3-4 😉

We’ve talked once since then.  When our friend got engaged. He was telling me about the ring process and I said “I wish my guy was that excited about our future together” and he said he really was thinking about it. That it was less uncomfortable for him, and he admitted he’d been “coasting” for awhile. But he’s not anymore since our talk. And assured me that I made the right decision to give him the chance to sort through it and not feel like he was being given an ultimatum.

And now it’s his own timeline he’s working with, so he has no one to blame but himself if it’s too soon!

I’ve had some “crazy waiting” moments in the last few weeks. I’ve also had some moments when I let go completely. I don’t have the energy to care anymore/obsess over it.  We’ve spent the last 2 weekends away from each other due to birthdays and family stuff, and maybe that’s why.  Also I hear it’s common that if a woman is ready first, when the guy comes around sometimes she’ll become unsure or reject the proposal. Have you heard of this phenomenon? I read about it in the John Gray “Mars and Venus on a Date”.

Sorry this got really long!

Post # 5
3587 posts
Sugar bee

We started dating and a few months in, he wanted to marry me one day. I was like, crazy man. I’m not ready for all that. I was quite happy just being together. Fast forward a few months and I’m on board. Guess what? I learn soon doesn’t mean soon for men, like it does for women.LOL I’m still patiently waiting. We’ve been together for 1yr and 7 months, so really I’ve been waiting…1yr and 4 months.LMAO!

I was fine for a while, but a few weeks ago, I had a crying, snotty make him nervous breakdown. I just asked him if he really wanted to marry me because it has been quite some time from talking to executing. He said he does and he won’t make me wait past my 30th birthday. Hopefully he does what he says he is going to do.

Post # 6
5093 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2012

We dated for two years in high school, and we eventually knew we wanted to marry each other in a few years after we finished college and got our careers started.  We broke up after the first semester of college, though, and that finished all that.

We started talking again three years ago, but we didn’t see each other again until one year ago.  I was living in Japan at the time, so that put the brakes on a lot of things.  Our relationship slowly progressed, though, and in October, we knew we wanted to be together.  We talked a lot and knew that because of our history, this relationship was likely to get very serious very fast, and sure enough, it did.  I knew pretty much from that moment that I wanted to marry him.

We saw each other for the first time since we started dating when I had to go home for a family emergency last January.  We realized at that point just how perfectly we matched, and we started making some longterm plans together.

In March, he came to Japan to visit me, and we started discussing really longterm stuff.  He went back home after ten days, but our conversations online and on the phone started becoming more serious.  We talked a lot about how each of us feels about raising kids and what we want to do with our lives.  After three or four weeks of that, he finally said, “Look, we’ve been tiptoeing around this for a while now, so I just want to get it off my chest.  I want to marry you, GreenEyedMoon.  I want to be with you forever.”

After that, we just slowly started talking more and more about it.  Within a couple weeks, we were making plans, suggesting time frames, etc.

I got back to America two weeks ago, and now we’ve been ring shopping, and we talk about the upcoming engagement and our wedding on an almost daily basis.  He knows that I’ve gone to a couple bridal salons, and he’s okay with that.  I know now that the proposal is still a ways off because he wants to pay off his debt first (which he thinks might happen by Christmas?), but in the mean time, we’re doing a bit of planning, and that’s okay.


Post # 7
1893 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

We met online and became inseperable almost immediately.  He started asking me questions about what I envisoned for my future within the first month.  We knew we would end up getting married a couple months in (to be fair, we’re both in our early/mid thirties and have had a lot of time to figure out what we want and immediately recognized that in each other.) 

We moved in together at 5 months.  3 months later, I broached the subject of marriage, basically asking for a timeline.  He told me a year. 

I got (in my opinion) a little over eager and proceeded to completely immerse myself in pre-planning, spending almost every weekend glued to the couch watching WE wedding weekend TV and living on these boards.  That was clearly a recipe for disaster because I almost lost my damn mind.  I had a mini freakout a little later, wondering what the hold up was.  That’s when my wonderful, patient SO gently reminded me that it had been a whopping THREE WEEKS since our initial conversation.  I was horrified when I realized he was right.  Time was  moving like freaking molasses. 

About a month later I brought it up again, like word vomit.  I must couldn’t help myself. We got into an argument that time, since he was getting pissed that I was sucking all the fun and romance out of this (apparently) epic proposal he’s planning. I promised myself I’d shut up for at LEAST two months at that point.  I made it a week.  More arguing ensued.

I found out during those arguments, however, that he had been shopping for a ring which helped to ease the waiting monster. Knowing he’s made some progress on moving things along reassured me that the proposal was, in fact, going to happen.  At that point, I realized the only person standing in the way of a lovely, guilt-free proposal was myself.  I’m the only one with the power to turn something beautiful into something ugly and regretful.  I don’t want memories of our proposal to be tainted with feelings of regret about my own behavior preceding it.  I stopped the planning all together as well as imposed a ban on all wedding related TV.  That’s helped a lot.    We’re going away for our one year anniversery and I am hoping with all that I have that the prosal will be forthcoming, although I keep telling myself it’s not in order to ease any potential dissapointment.

Knowing that it is for sure happening has helped a great deal, I really want to dive into the planning phase, though.  My age is making the waiting a bit harder, I’m concerned about conceiving and I really want to have kids.  I’m wrestling more with my biological clock than my desire to marry, really.  As the days (and sometimes hours) tick on, keeping mum is getting increasingly more difficult.  I have Ms. Octopus’ blog bookmarked though (the cautionary tale) and that helps me through my weaker moments.   I feel like an alcoholic struggling not to take a drink sometimes, when the anxiety gets really bad.  I have to remind myself that if I open my mouth, the past month of easing up and not saying anything flies straight out the window.  Only two more weeks till vacation.  I can do it, I can do it!

Post # 8
1844 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

  Ahhhh, let’s see. We started dating in October 2004. I had just gotten out of the most serious relationship of my life (two years) and I was starting over. My first two years of college were really rough, and I ended up moving back into the dorms for a chance to start over. I was just looking to make some friends. My roommate was in a similar situation. We were the same age, and she had just gotten out of a relationship (she was actually engaged, though). We made friends in our hall, and one of them happened to be my current SO. We took our time getting into things, but we ended up becoming exclusive.

  Fast forward a few years. After 3.5 years of dating, we hit a crossroads in our relationship. He was starting a PhD program at a school that was 5 hours away from our hometown. We decided to see how things would go with us living that far apart. During that year, we really grew together. That summer, we talked about where we saw things headed, and he said he would propose by the end of summer 2010.

  We’ve talked about it a little. I have had some meltdowns. Some I have let him know about, some I haven’t. I really vent a lot on this board, as well as another one. Technically, summer isn’t over until September 20ish. He has told me that he still intends on keeping his promise. In the meantime, I have been looking for ideas online and all of that good stuff. I want to start ordering a few things (I found a garter that I really like, some Bridesmaid or Best Man gifts, the fun stuff), but I want to wait until I have the ring on my hand. I’m somewhat superstitious, so I don’t want to jinx anything yet.

  So, here we are now! I go down for a visit next week. I am hoping that something happens on that trip, but we’ll see. I’m trying reeaaaalllllllllllllllllllly hard to not focus on it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Post # 9
1278 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

We have been together for nearly 3 years now and right from the start we were both sure that this was it. I think our first marriage conversation came about 3 months into the relationship because people had started asking us when we were going to get married! At 7 months together, we moved in together, a year later we bought our house and now I am well and truly ready to move to the next stage.

We just had quite an honest conversation. I figured we were both on the same page as each other because we had talked quite a bit about marriage over the years, but girls, make sure you spell it out 100% clearly because sometimes they just dont get it!

We discovered that we both have different ideas on when is the right time. I think now is a good time: we have minimal debt, we are starting to get some good savings, we are comfortable in our relationship and it would give us a few years before we had to think about kids. For him though, he always thought that we would get married when we decided we wanted to think about kids. So while I want to be married in 2 years, he was thinking 5 years.

And while I thought a simple wedding for a minimal budget would be fine, he wants to do the full on wedding thing!

But that said, now that he has realised how important it is to me for us to have that time before the kids as a married couple, he has changed his thoughts a little. He said “I promise I will ask soon” but I still think it will be another year before a proposal!

Post # 10
592 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I’m a psych major too and it is interesting reading about how relationships move through phases.

We were pretty inseparable from our first date. He knew before I did that we had something special. I’m very open about how I feel and where I see things. I would check in regularly (every few months) to make sure we were on the same page with our relationship. I don’t remember exactly when, but maybe about 4 months after we started dating, we were laying in bed and talking about future plans. He said his plan was to marry me, etc, etc. My heart skipped a beat, this man I fell in love with actually said out loud he wanted to marry me. At some point we got into a conversation about kids and stuff and timelines and we worked out a rough timeline of when we wanted to get engaged, married, have kids, etc. I think I probably felt ready to get married at the 6 month point (we were already settled into living together by then), but wanted to wait a ‘normal’ amount of time as we were in no rush and didn’t want our families to worry we were rushing into things – although his family asked him when he was going to marry me the first time they met me LOL.

Anyway, we decided this last winter, after dating a year and half, it was a good time to save towards a ring. We went ring shopping in May and had a ring custom made. We got it last week and now I’m just waiting on the proposal (soon I hope!)

Our lives are already very tied together and we’re hopeing to move cross country together so I can go to grad school in a few months. So, talking about our future is very normal for us. I’m a crazy planning type so he told me no wedding talk until we are officially engaged because we will likely have a 2 year engagement and that means 2 years he has to hear EVERY little detail about the wedding. I do still joke with him (just last night in fact) that he doesn’t really want to marry because he hasn’t proposed. He responded by telling me he wants to marry me every day.

I should qualify this at all by saying my bf has never been a fear of committment type and if our finances had been different or if I had expressed wanting to get married sooner we probably would have been engaged and married already.

Post # 11
435 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I’m in-between! My SO and I started dating in March of last year. Our third date was amazing and we were pretty sure that we were onto a good thing after that. Our difference comes in the speed we launch into things. SO comes from a very cautious and conservative family background, I come from a family of passionate people who launch into things full-tit. I was the one that asked if we were exclusive and I was the one who said “I love you” first. I refuse to ask him to marry me though Wink

So there have been some moments of frustration that he is not in the same place as me yet. He has said that he is sure in his love with me but doesn’t want to make the proposal without being sure that it will be forever. And he wouldn’t be my darling if he was any other way. In saying that, things have been looking more and more interesting lately. He has snaffled away the jewellery catalogue that I brought home, he has made a huge deal about our sims being married (he’s just started playing the Sims game again) and talks about me being his other half and not being able to be without me.

I’ve always wanted to be surprised by my proposal so I don’t want to pressure him too much about when it’s going to happenLaughing

Post # 12
1103 posts
Bumble bee

We met when I was 21 and he was 25. I didn’t have a lightning bolt moment or anything with him, it just felt nice and comfortable. I wasn’t sure about the future – partly because I was only 21 and partly because I was wondering where my lightning bolt was! We moved in together very quickly (after 2 months). He was ready for marriage almost immediately. I wasn’t. He would lead me towards jewellery shops in the mall and I’d lead him away. So he gave up. We had a pretty good first 2 years including a 6 week trip backpacking through Europe – if you can survive that you are doing well. After 2 years I had my lightning bolt moment and decided I wanted to marry him. He was very excited and I was very excited. He bought me a ring neither of us were very happy with. I got cold feet. I moved out for a few weeks so I could focus on my exams. Afterwards I moved back in and we took things slow, trying to make our relationship as good as it could possibly be. I gave him back the ring and we didn’t talk about marriage for a long time. We did buy a house and go overseas a few more times. Life was good but there was always a question mark over our long term future. On my 26th birthday I realised I’d spent the majority of my 20s with this wonderful man, and it was getting to crunch time. I decided our life together was awesome and I wanted to be with him always, so I told him I wanted to marry him. I needed him to decide if he wanted to marry me, and tell me what his decision was. It took a bit of time (I mean I’d broken his heart the first time around) but eventually he said he wanted to marry me too. He would happily live in sin forever, but if getting married was important to me then it was important to him and he liked the idea. He said he wanted to buy me a new ring and do the traditional proposal, but would probably do that in 2009 (this is in 2008). OK, I can wait. I just needed to know! He proposed on my 27th birthday, so I would say I waited an agonising year 🙂 It’s been a long and sometimes rocky road but our relationship now is wonderful and married life is wonderful and neither of us regrets any of it if this is how we got there 🙂

Post # 13
113 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

We had known each other for a few years before we even started dating, not really even friends – just hung out in the same circle, then when we did start dating we were attached at the hip. Just one night apart makes us miss the other like crazy, lol. But, like Scribbles wrote above, I am the more passionate one; asked about being exclusive first and said, “I love you” after 3 months. He, also, comes from a VERY conservative family and he isn’t one to throw his emotions around, he didn’t want to say “I love you” just because I said it, he wanted to say it when he felt the time was right. When he finally did, at the 1-year mark Surprised, he came to my work with roses and said it to me right there. I knew then that this man was unlike any other and that I wanted to be with him forever.

At the 6 month mark we threw around the idea of moving in together – then aburptly realized that was not for us. We always talked about being married one day and even picked out our children’s names but it was never a very serious conversation, just dreamy – fun talk. It wasn’t until about the 3 year mark that a job opportunity came up for my Boyfriend or Best Friend, 350 miles away, that the marriage talks became more serious. Now he is moving tomorrow and we plan on being married by/ in January 2011. Ring should be coming soon, couldn’t be more excited!

Post # 14
6661 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

Darling Husband had never even thought about marriage when I brought it up. He did not start dating me thinking we might get married one day, he dated me because he liked me a lot and wanted us to be committed to each other/in a relationship. When I brought up the fact that I wanted to get married one day, about 6 months into our relationship, he was totally floored. He got angry and defensive and refused to even think about marriage. He was so mad I brought it up and asked me to never talk about it again.

That didn’t go over too well with me, but I compromised and agreed not to talk about it for now. I mean, it was only 6 months into our relationship, so I couldn’t expect him to get comfortable with it that fast. At our 1 year anniversary, he asked if he could move in and I said “Not if we aren’t engaged”. He then very reluctantly agreed to think about the idea of marriage and eventually agreed to get engaged ‘shortly after’ moving in. Again, I compromised as being with him meant more to me than getting what I wanted if he wasn’t quite ready yet.

He moved in and of course was totally silent about the future. No more talk of having kids, buying a house, our wedding. Nothing. And it was strange b/c he used to talk about this stuff all the time, unprompted by me. A romantic vacation up north came and went. Then we went on a romantic week long trip to cabo, just the two of us, and nothing. On the trip, everyone was referring to me as his wife and he acted like he didn’t notice.

I remember this so clearly. The day we got back, I asked him if he had thought about getting engaged. Again, he got really mad and defensive and tried to make me look bad for ‘pressuring’ him. Oh he accused me of ruining everything. I apologized for ‘ruining’ everything and in a calm but fiercely angry tone gave him 2 weeks to move out. I told him that i had trusted him and taken a huge leap of faith by letting him move in without a ring and he totally violated my trust. Every other aspect of our relationship was perfect, but for some reason the idea of marriage made him totally clam up and violently revolt. I was at my breaking point and was totally willing to end things, I knew I couldn’t go on another day like that.

I think it took him two days, and he may have even gone to look at an apartment during that time, for him to realize what life would be like without me. He realized what he had known all along, that our life together was what he wanted now and forever. He fought the demons inside him that were rebelling against the idea of marriage, got his $hit together and bought a ring. We were engaged about a month later and it was really an amazing proposal.

He thanks me to this day for pushing him and standing up for myself. He is the happiest married man I’ve ever seen and he always has been an amazing partner. So obviously, we were never at a point where you say you are now, both on the same page that you aren’t ready.

Post # 15
935 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

Wow! I’m glad I’m not alone in this phenomenon, when an otherwise great guy clams up and gets defensive about the marriage stuff. When everything else in the relationship is fantastic!

Good for you for standing up for yourself!

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